December 15 – Stephen of Surozh; Virginia Centurione Bracelli

Stephen of Surozh (VIII cent.) was born in Cappadocia (“docile cap”) to Christian parents. From an early age he shunned the pastimes of your ordinary, not-destined-to-become-a-saint lads (football, motocross, Dragon Ball-Z marathons), preferring instead to read Scripture. At fifteen he ran away to Constantinople to pursue an education in philosophy. Patriarch (Saint) Germanus took him… Continue reading December 15 – Stephen of Surozh; Virginia Centurione Bracelli

December 14 – Philemon, Apollonius, and Arianus of Alexandria; John of the Cross

Philemon, Apollonius, & Arianus of Alexandria (d. 286) were martyrs. Apollonius, a Christian, devised an ingenious scheme to avoid being killed for not sacrificing to idols: he convinced pagan Philemon to swap robes with him and sacrifice in his stead. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Philemon converted to Christianity on his way to Apollonius’ trial. “I changed… Continue reading December 14 – Philemon, Apollonius, and Arianus of Alexandria; John of the Cross

December 13 – Lucy

Lucy of Syracuse  (ca. 283–ca. 304) lost her father when she was five (I don’t mean in the shopping mall; I mean he died), and was determined not to lose her mother, so when Eutychia (her ma) came down with a bleeding disorder, Lucy trundled her off to the shrine of St. Agatha in nearby… Continue reading December 13 – Lucy

December 12 – Spyridon; Our Lady of Guadalupe

Spyridon (ca. 270–348), a Cypriot shepherd, used all of his earnings to tend to the poor and needy, in reward for which he received the ability to wonderwork. He used this gift to heal the sick, cast out demons, and stuff like that. When his wife died, his daughter became a nun, and he became… Continue reading December 12 – Spyridon; Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 11 – Nicon the Dry; Pope Damasus I

Nicon the Dry (d. ca. 1101), of noble Kievan stock, monastitized at the Monastery of the Caves, whence he and (St.) Eustratius were kidnapped for ransom by the Cumans (Polovtsy). A compassionate Kievan with some spare change went down to Cumanland to spring them, but Nicon said, “Nah, I’m good.” The rich man shrugged, redeemed… Continue reading December 11 – Nicon the Dry; Pope Damasus I